Date Published: December 8, 2020
An incompetent thief makes another attempt at burglary. A hopeless bartender struggles to manage her last patron. The pair reluctantly work together to figure out why a man they presumed dead may have returned, while a lonely tourist inadvertently gets in the way.
His steps were careful, and his comfort with darkness allowed him the typical confidence to succeed without a trace. He made his way across the room to the large ornate mirror hanging above an oak cabinet. Lifting the constraining ski mask, he examined his new moustache still coming in. He had decided a while ago that he wanted a distinguished look, and concluded that a moustache should do the trick.
The soft moonlight was not bright enough at this end of the room. To allow him a better examination of his facial hair, he turned on his mini flashlight and shined it onto his face. The moustache was coming in nicely, not too thick, and shaped just perfectly. He looked at the rest of his face, which he tended to do when in front of a mirror – he just couldn’t help himself. He noticed that the lighting, positioned as it was at that moment, accentuated his handsome features. Realizing he had distracted himself again, he quickly turned off the flashlight to get back to the matter at hand.
Did he have to put the ski mask back on? What was the point of it? He knew no one was going to see him. And besides, if he was to get spotted on the street or by some neighbor, he thought a black ski mask would definitely call attention to him. He decided it wasn’t necessary and kept the ski mask up away from his face. This way, it was easier to make his way around the room.
He was dressed in all black: a tight black shirt with long sleeves and tight, yet flexible, black pants, allowing him agility for climbing over the balcony. His shoes were made of flexible black canvas with black rubber sole. He had perfected this outfit over the years. Wait, he thought to himself. What is that? He shined the mini flashlight on his shirt. “Is that a fuckin’ stain?” he mumbled as he rubbed the white drop. “Where the hell–?” He remembered. “Fuckin’ bird.”
His gloves were also tight, but their leather made it more difficult to handle objects. He hadn’t been able to find his favorite neoprene pair with the metallic tips, which allowed him to use touch screens. Where the fuck had he misplaced those damn gloves? Damn! He just remembered. They were in the side pocket of his travel bag in the extra closet in his new apartment. The travel bag! That’s where the other lighter is too! Flashlight off. He finally turned away from the mirror, aggressively shoving the light back into his small black shoulder sling.
He made his way around the room and took note of the furniture. It was laid out almost exactly as it had been described to him. Bam! He stubbed his left toe on the metal leg of a marble top coffee table. “What the fuck?” he whispered as he lifted his leg and grabbed his toe. It was instinct. That’s what one does when one’s toe throbs with pain, right? He felt himself fall forward. He tried regaining his balance, but it was too late. Crash! A lamp fell to the floor. It had to have been made of metal because it fell with a multitude of crashes. He fell along with it, but managed to land onto the plush floral sofa. He let go of his leg, realizing he had to get the hell out of there. The floorboards in the ceiling creaked. They were up. The light upstairs had been turned on, illuminating the stairway to the foyer. “Shit.” He sprang from the sofa, stepped through the curtains and climbed out of the window from which he had entered.
About the Author
Lorenzo Petruzziello is the author of The Love Fool and a contributing writer to publications focusing on food, travel and cocktails. A Mistake Incomplete is his second novel.